Harmony Hammond

Interview with Harmony Hammond, 2008 February 17
Interview with Harmony Hammond, 2008 February 17

Harmony Hammond (b. 1944) has, throughout her career, actively combined her work as an artist with her goals as an activist. The artwork she has produced is grounded in the assertion that traditionally feminine qualities—emotionality, bodiliness, domesticity—are worthy subjects, and also means, for art making. The sculptural pieces she created in the early 1970s featured swaths of fabric as a primary material; her series of rag rugs from the same years evoked the products of traditional women’s handwork. Her paintings, while almost exclusively abstract, are strongly textured and colored and reveal the processes of their making. Hammond asserts that this creative process, a specific experience for the female artist, is an important component of the finished object’s meaning.

Much of Hammond’s work as an activist has taken place in museums and galleries. She was a founding member of A.I.R. Gallery, a female artist-run organization focused exclusively upon work by women. In 1978 she curated “A Lesbian Show” at 122 Green Street Workshop, through which she featured work by lesbian artists. Bringing attention to the unique and empowered qualities of feminist and lesbian art is a goal she has realized through the written word as well: Lesbian Art in America: A Contemporary History (2000) is the foremost text on the subject.

Harmony Hammond, Floorpiece VI (1973).

Further Reading

Bryan-Wilson, Julia. "Queerly Made: Harmony Hammond's Floorpieces." Journal of Modern Craft 2, no. 1 (2009): 59-79.

Hammond, Harmony. Lesbian Art in America: A Contemporary History. New York: Rizzoli; London, 2000.

———. Wrappings: Essays on Feminism, Art, and the Martial Arts. New York, N.Y: TSL Press, 1984.

Hammond, Harmony, and Lucy R. Lippard. Harmony Hammond, Ten Years 1970-1980: A Retrospective Exhibition at WARM, a Women's Collective Art Space and Glen Hanson Gallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota, February 28-March 28, 1981. Minneapolis: Women's Art Registry of Minnesota, 1981.

"Interview with Members of A.I.R." Arts Magazine 47, (December, 1972): 58-59.